The best way to take the pulse of Sydney’s food scene? Well, go behind the scenes. This might be a cooking class with some of Australia’s most talented chefs. Or a backstage pass to breweries and distilleries to see how things are made. You can also justify all the food you’ll consume on tour to discover the city’s multicultural suburbs – you’re walking off the calories, after all.
Multicultural food tours
Sydney is not only Australia’s largest city, but also its most multicultural – you can eat your way around the world without leaving town. Join Gourmet Safaris for a tour of the Italian cuisine of Haberfield, the Turkish delights of Auburn or the best Lebanese in Punchbowl. Then find Indian, Balkan and Middle Eastern culinary heaven with Taste Cultural Food Tours, an organisation that provides training for migrants. And join Mia Cucina to visit Vietnam, China, Italy and Turkey in a mouthful. Meanwhile, Local Sauce Toursoffers food-fuelled expeditions through Sydney’s Chinatown.
Al Shami, Merrylands
Food tours around the city
Ultimately Sydney will caress your palate on a full-day expedition around the city’s most happening dining precincts, like Tramsheds in Glebe, The Canneryi n Rosebery and Spice Alley in Chippendale. Or get your hands dirty with wild food expert Diego Bonetto on a foraging tour through the Inner West or Eastern Suburbs to pick edible and medicinal plants. You'll never look at a public park in the same way again.
Take a self-guided culinary excursion along the Hawkesbury Harvest Farm Gate Trail on the edge of Sydney. You can pick your own oranges, apples or tomatoes at family-run orchards; taste gourmet goats’ cheese; and sip apple cider or boutique wines.
Sydney’s streets are fast becoming home to more and more craft breweries. You’ll discover how they all unite on one of Dave’s Tours; the Hipster and Hops experience takes you to a handful of establishments across the Inner West, like Wayward, Batch and Young Henrys. Brookvale and Manly on the Northern Beaches are also hubs for breweries, like Nomad and 4 Pines, where you can glimpse the inner workings of these oh-so-popular establishments, perhaps with a side of Tex Mex.
Whether gin, whiskey, vodka or rum, small-batch spirit makers are also increasing in popularity. Tour the distillery at Archie Rose, then try your hand at blending gin. It’s remarkably easy (and fun). Or pop in to Poor Toms, where you can meet the team behind your Marrickville Martini in the Gin Hall. Manly Spirits Co offers distillery tours and gin school, teaching you how to blend botanicals. And you’ll rediscover good rum at Brix Distillers, where the distilling processes is demonstrated while you enjoy a sip or two of the house’s finest blends.
While there’s nothing better than having someone prepare you a lavish meal, sometimes you need to take things into your own hands. Bonus: cooking classes not only teach you new skills, but you’ll walk away with a full belly. The Sydney Cooking School in Neutral Bay offers classes that tap into everything from Chinese dumplings and Spanish paella to French desserts. Then you can use the latest catch from the Sydney Fish Market at its on-site Sydney Seafood School, which runs classes hosted by some of Sydney's best chefs. This is the place to perfect your seafood barbecue skills or discover how to make sushi.
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